SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A former Missouri teacher was sentenced Wednesday to more than eight years in federal prison for receiving and distributing child pornography via the internet.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and Lebanon (Missouri) Police Department investigated this case.
Brandon Hileman, 26, of Lebanon, was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison without parole by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool.
Hileman, formerly a math teacher at Joel E. Barber Junior High School in Lebanon, pleaded guilty to the criminal charges on Nov. 14, 2018. He admitted that he received child pornography via the internet between Jan. 1 and Sept. 29, 2017.
This investigation began when a Lebanon police detective was notified that Hileman had uploaded two videos of child pornography to his Google Drive account.
Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Hileman’s residence on Sept. 29, 2017, and seized computers, an iPad, cellphones and digital storage devices.
After examining the devices, investigators found 886 images and 46 videos depicting child pornography, along with nearly 500 depictions of children urinating or defecating.
Almost 600 images of a juvenile with whom Hileman was acquainted were also identified, at least two of which were inappropriate, although not pornographic.
Hileman told investigators he began viewing child pornography as a teenager.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher prosecuted this case for the government.
This investigation was conducted under HSI’s Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2017, more than 2,700 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 900 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.